Far from the frenzied crowds of the Côte d’Azur, there is another “south” in France. The Languedoc-Roussillon is a beautiful and unspoiled region that begins at the delta of the Rhône and runs south along the Mediterranean to the Spanish border; here you will find the enchanting market town of Uzès and the charming Écusson neighborhood of Montpellier. Just as lovely are the medieval hamlet of Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert and the Cathar stronghold of Minerve. Southeast of Toulouse, the walled city of Carcassonne is an awe-inspiring example of medieval fortification. And the best way to enjoy the popular Pont du Gard, the famous stone aqueduct that was built in the first century to supply the city of Nîmes, is to rise early and be there when the site opens. Languedoc’s wine and food are Mediterranean, and the area’s vineyards, which long dominated the mass production of French table wine, have lately become more refined. Many vintners feel freer to experiment here than in other more established regions in France. Consider stopping in Tavel, renowned for its robust rosé.

Not long ago, Uzès was dying. Then the French government designated the town a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire. Soon, wealthy foreigners began to buy homes.

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